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(+44 118 321 8197 from abroad)
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Andrew Daniel

Andrew leads our Operational Team and is our expert when it comes to all the ins and outs of car hire excess insurance.

Planning to drive in France?

Stay the right side of the breathalyser law

France introduced a law in July 2012 which means you must have an "NF” marked breathalyser in your car. The law states that one breathalyser must be produced, but it's recommended that you carry two in case you use one (presumably the point of the law…). It must carry the French NF-approval marking – worth checking if you already have a breathalyser and don't forget that the French limit at 0.5% BAC is lower than our 0.8% BAC.

When the law was introduced those not carrying a breathalyser were fined but this has since been removed. It is still a requirement, however, for a test to be ready for use in the vehicle.

If you hire a car in France, it should come with a breathalyser though we'd recommend checking the small print regarding replacement if you use one. Cars hired outside France probably won't – again, worth considering if you might visit France.

You can buy them at the border, in local shops or order before travelling. Bear in mind that they may have a use by date so always check yours before you travel.

If you are hiring a car, remember to compare car hire excess insurance products offered by the rental firm to those available before you travel. You may be able to get a better deal via our comparison service.

The RAC have a list of the equipment you need if you are driving in France.